Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the greatest footballers ever to grace the beautiful game. The Portuguese superstar rose from humble beginnings and a tough background to become arguably the best footballer of all time. Now at Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo has helped to revolutionize football in his own way.
Cristiano Ronaldo holds a great number of records in football today
The 36-year-old is a five-time Ballon d'Or winner and two-time FIFA Best Men's Player of the Year. Cristiano Ronaldo is the man with the most appearances and most goals in the history of the UEFA Champions League, winning the competition five times.
Portugal's captain since 2008, Cristiano Ronaldo led his country to glory in Euro 2016 and the 2019 UEFA Nations League. The forward is also the record goalscorer in men's international football.
Many managers, ex-footballers and analysts have referred to Cristiano Ronaldo as the greatest footballer ever. On that note, here are five of his rival managers who have publicly praised him in the past:
#5 Ernesto Valverde
Former FC Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao manager Ernesto Valverde is one of the most respected managers to come out of Spain in recent years.
In the 2018-19 season, Valverde led FC Barcelona to their most recent league title. He also ended Athletic Bilbao's 31-year wait for a trophy in 2015 when his side defeated Barcelona in the Supercopa De España.
Valverde has faced Cristiano Ronaldo many times in Spain with both Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona. His first match for Barcelona came in the Supercopa against Real Madrid, when Cristiano Ronaldo scored to propel Los Blancos to the trophy.
Valverde is a manager with huge respect for Cristiano Ronaldo following his achievements in football. The Spanish manager acknowledged the danger posed by Ronaldo in a press conference during his time as Athletic Bilbao manager:
"He could score three or four goals in every game. It’s normal the season has low points, he’s always hungry to score…I don’t see many ups and downs."
“Those who are closer can have another opinion but when we face him there’s always danger in every play.”
#4 Mauricio Pochettino
Argentine manager Mauricio Pochettino is one of the most envied managers in world football due to his position as PSG manager. He has been linked with the Manchester United job in recent days in a move that will see him team up with Cristiano Ronaldo, a player he admires greatly.
Pochettino led his Tottenham Hotspur team to two matches against a Real Madrid side that contained Cristiano Ronaldo in the 2017-18 UEFA Champions League. Ronaldo scored in both legs of the group stage encounter as Real Madrid lost one and drew the other match.
Before their meeting in 2017, Pochettino spoke to the media about Ronaldo's professionalism and quality."
"He’s a phenomenon.
“He has been awarded ‘The Best’ and the truth is that he deserves it.
“In addition to his qualities as a professional, he is an example."